Costa Rica

Volcanos, Hot Springs, and Geckos... Oh my! – How Tabacón and La Fortuna Prove Costa Rica is Much More Than the Beach

It goes without saying that Costa Rica is a traveler’s dream. 


Beautiful coastline, lush rainforests, exciting weather (especially for us "Cali folk" - we experienced thunder storms like we've never seen before!), and the BEST overall vibe (Pura Vida baby!). 


We decided to take a risk and pass on some of the more popular tourist areas, and instead spend the majority of our trip at the base of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. We chose to stay at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, having heard that there were life-changing hot springs on their property, and that it was part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection (one of our favorite hotel collections EVER!). Needless to say, we were really excited to explore Tabacon, and had high pretty high expectations for the property and surrounding area. And it definitely did not disappoint! 


We flew into Liberia Airport with Alaska Airlines, which was a dream (more to come on that experience). We rented a car, which we highly recommend, and made the slow, windy drive to La Fortuna. The drive is about 80 miles (totally doable!), but slow, and we definitely advise against driving in the dark. If you go in the summer (their rainy season), you’re likely to get hit with some weather and it may be a little rough. Plus, during the day the views are AMAZING, with lush green rainforest, lakes, and volcanoes to look at!


After the three-hour trek, we were so thankful for the lovely welcome at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa. Within minutes of arriving, we were in our room with a welcome-drink in hand, being encouraged to put on our robes and head down to the hot springs for a late-night dip. Did we just check into HEAVEN?! We’re obsessed with robe-life, so obviously we took the advice. Outfitted in our robes, we had a quick dinner (there's something about eating dinner in a lush robe - can we say #vacationgoals?) at the lovely Ave del Paraíso before heading to the hot springs.

The hot springs at Tabacón are indescribable. They're everything we had hoped they'd be and SO much more.  We met a couple at dinner who described the springs as “A labyrinth of streams that you may not see all of”, which was a fantastic representation of what it was. Even at night, in the pitch black, we were totally in awe of the hot springs. 

One thing you may wonder is how hot they are? Between 77 and 122 degrees!!! But don’t worry, it honestly feels totally refreshing. Even though it was probably 80+ outside most of the time, the springs we spent the most time in (with temps around 95-100) felt SO good. Alli is never one to sit in jacuzzis very long, but she could sit in the springs for hours! 


Insider tip: A lot of people stay at other hotels and then spend the day at Tabacon Hot Springs, but we want to let you in on a little secret. First of all, the springs are included in your room rate if you stay at Tabacón (non-guest day pass is between $70-105). Second, if you’re a hotel guest, then you need to take advantage of the time that only hotel guests can use it (between 8-10am). We would go before breakfast in the morning and have the place completely to ourselves. Combine the cooler morning temperature with the normal rain showers, and the hot springs are straight up heavenly. Our mornings in the hot springs ended up being one of the highlights of our trip! 

The rooms are amazing and spacious! We enjoyed the honeymoon suite and had a view of the Arenal Volcano! Sort of… One downside to the rainy season is that your views may be blocked by clouds. So, while we knew Arenal was back there, we never actually saw it. Which is the PERFECT excuse for us to return!! ;)


When we weren’t in our room, we were either exploring the nearby town, frolicking in the springs, getting massages (Alli here - I had one of the best massages of my LIFE at Tabacón! Highly recommend!!), or indulging in the restaurants at Tabacón. The breakfasts here are phenomenal. Each day we did the breakfast buffet, which has everything you can imagine, and comes with LEGIT Costa Rican coffee (we even brought some home)!

Although it is hard to leave a resort like Tabacón, we love experiencing the culture of a new destination by visiting the nearby towns. We went into La Fortuna, about 15 minutes from Tabacón, nearly every day. We had great coffee, had some of the best meals of our trip, and enjoyed sitting outside and simply observing... Watching the storms roll in, the local vendors selling their goods, and seeing kids walking in their school uniforms while we just sip on coffee and ponder how different life looks in different parts of the world. 

A couple adventures we recommend outside of town included hiking to the La Fortuna waterfall, looking for wildlife at Ecocentro Danaus, and exploring the Arenal hanging bridges

All in all, we were totally impressed with this area of Costa Rica. Without a beach in sight, we were in awe of the natural beauty, the people, and the food. There is SO much to do there, three days barely scratched the surface. We will definitely be back to try and see Arenal and soak in the amazing hot springs of Tabacón! ... And get another massage. ;)

Squashing Those "In-Flight Fears" With Alaska Airlines

It goes without saying that we fly. A lot. 

Whether we’re flying domestic or international, we’re some of the few that actually really enjoy air travel. We love the thrill of arriving at the airport, checking our bags, and exploring the terminal before we take off. We get a kick out of people watching, catching up on magazines, and having a glass of wine while we watch reruns of “Friends” on the plane. But we realize we’re not normal. 

For MANY people flying on an airplane is matched with anxiety, stress, and fear. That fear literally hinders millions of people from exploring the world - which breaks our hearts! We get emails all the time from couples that want so desperately to travel but have reservations when it comes to flying on a plane. Today we’re going to talk about our most recent experience in the air with Alaska Airlines, in hopes that we can calm some of those fears, as: 

  1. Flying truly is one of our FAVORITE parts of our trips
  2. Choosing which airline you travel with makes all of the difference



One of the worst parts of flying can be the check in / boarding process. People pushing each other in line, disorganization, carry-on bags rolling over your toes, etc. We’ve seen things get scary. 

However, we can honestly say that EVERY time we have flown with Alaska the check in and boarding process has been quick, easy, and orderly. Their systems are flawless, the check-ins are efficient, and the ticket agents are extremely accommodating and friendly. Which leads us to our next point…



We really can’t say enough about the incredible Alaska Airlines staff. (Shout out to Holly!) They are truly the kindest, most helpful people we’ve met in the skies. We’ve seen them bend over backwards to help their guests, they have the best senses of humor (seriously - they’re always laughing!), and they are so thoughtful in every situation. 

We just returned from a trip to Costa Rica with Alaska, and when the attendants heard that it was Alli’s birthday, they surprised us with a tray of champagne, chocolates, and pilots wings!! We have NEVER seen that kind of attentive behavior from another airline! Before we can even say a word the attendants are there to re-fill our drinks, offer us snacks, or make sure we’re comfortable. When you fly with Alaska it feels like you’re flying with family. And we love that.



The food on Alaska Airlines is GOOD. Whether you’re flying first class or economy, you won’t be disappointed. 

On our way to Costa Rica we flew economy, and decided to share one of the famous “snack trays” we’d heard so much about. Inside was chips, hummus, crackers, almonds, olives, dark chocolate, and more! It was filling, delicious, and HEALTHY. We liked it so much that we ordered another!!

On our flight home from Costa Rica we flew first class, and were blown away by the food and service. We drank delicious wine, had a fresh and tasty salad, stuffed roast beef with mashed potatoes, and a TDF (to die for) strudel dessert with kiwis. IT WAS SO GOOD! We’ve had some pretty questionable airplane food in our days of travel, but this folks, you just can’t even compare. We’d order it at a restaurant!!



We repeat, THE CHAIRS ARE COMFY. This is huge. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a long flight. Alaska takes pride in their fleet, and it shows. No matter where your seat is on the plane, you’re definitely not going to be disappointed. It’s roomy, pleasant, and every seat comes with an outlet to charge your phone! Beyond that, the “Alaska Beyond” In-Flight entertainment is solid. We were able to watch some of the new releases we’d been dying to see, and even play some of our favorite card games! Alli was actually SAD when the announcement came on that the flight was almost home! She didn’t want the trip to end!!



We arrived home from Costa Rica raving about Alaska to our friends and family, and we haven’t stopped! From the check-in process to the customer service, to the entertainment and “comfort factor”, we really could not have had a better experience. We were too busy having fun to even begin to stress about “in-flight fears” and we know the same would be for you! Alaska, thank you for making our trip to Costa Rica so enjoyable and stress-free. We can’t think of a better way to begin and end our vacation!


And for those of you that have a fear of flying, we hope this blog opens your eyes to how much fun air travel can be. We challenge you to book a flight with Alaska and see what a difference this airline can make - and then let us know your thoughts!! We have a feeling you’ll be obsessed too. ;)

Thank you to Alaska Airlines for sponsoring this post!